Returning to work after maternity leave can be difficult: there could be guilt at leaving a very young baby to go back to work but on the other hand there could be the anticipation of getting back to job you enjoy.
It can be quite a wrench; having to leave behind that precious bundle of joy to pick up the reins of your career, but it has to be done. Here are some tips for returning to work after maternity leave that may help:
1. The first step would be to find dependable child care. This process can be started before the arrival of the baby when you have more time.
Look for qualified care givers in the neighborhood, ask around with friends and relatives as well as colleagues and weigh all your options.
2. Before you have to actually go back to work, do a trail run to see how the baby (and as importantly you) will react to the situation.
This will give you an idea about what the situation really entails (including your own chores and getting dressed in the morning, packing lunch for older children, and so on) and you will be better prepared for when you do really resume working.
3. Speak to your employer about keeping timings flexible for you. Ask if it is possible to telecommute for at least part of the week or part of the day.
4.Let go of the guilt. There is really no point in ‘what ifs’ at this stage. You made a decision that is best for you and your circumstances and therefore best for the baby as well. So rather than indulging in guilt, make the best of the situation and make sure that your baby is as well looked after as possible.
5. Try to continue breast feeding. This may involve some employer assistance and understanding and the aid of a trusty breast pump, but it can be done.
6. Prioritize sleep. With going back to work and making sure that everything is organized on the home front, sleep can take a bit of a back seat. Don’t let it. Enlist the help of a partner or other family member to make sure that you get the sleep that you need. You don’t need the stress of poor sleep and daytime sleepiness on top of everything else.
For moms who work from home as well, it is important to make a schedule. The schedule can be flexible and can be made to adjust to a baby’s timings, but this also will require some amount of organization and discipline.